A PASSENGER jet was forced to make an emergency landing after the crew reported smoke in the cockpit.
Just 15 minutes after taking off from Edinburgh for London, the British Airways flight was forced to turn back.
The emergency happened as the wide-bodied Boeing 767 – which did not have any passengers on board – was flying over the Sanquhar area of Dumfries and Galloway.
At 12.45 today, the two-man crew alerted ground staff to the emergency.
A full-scale fire response team of more than 30 firefighters and at least eight fire trucks assembled at Edinburgh Airport.
The aircraft landed safely and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fault.
A British Airways spokesman said: “Our flight crew returned to Edinburgh airport shortly after take-off following a technical problem with the aircraft.
“The aircraft was operating without customers as it was positioning back to London for engineering purposes.
“Our engineers are investigating the cause of the technical problem.”
An Edinburgh Airport spokesman said: “The plane was in the air just after 12.30pm and at 12.45pm they reported smoke in the cabin.
“They turned back round to Edinburgh and landed on the tarmac about 12.55pm.
“There was no delay to any other scheduled flights as there were only two pilots involved so there was no need to spend time evacuating luggage or passengers.
“As a matter of precaution our own fire crews were in attendance and Lothian and Borders Fire Service were also called but that is standard procedure for this kind of incident.”
A Lothian and Borders Fire Service spokeswoman said: “We were called at 12.56pm to a report of smoke in the cockpit of an aircraft.
“The plane had landed safely and we were stood down although a full response team of 25 firefighters and seven appliances were in attendance.”
Earlier this month a British Airways flight making its way to London Heathrow from Philadelphia made an emergency 6am landing at Shannon Airport, Ireland.
The flight was around 1,000 km from Shannon when the captain reported smoke in the cabin although the plane landed safely.